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sugar plum

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  1. Oh, that's disappointing to hear. I had high hopes for these cookies. I'm baking them off tonight. I made the dough and popped it in the freezer yesterday. I think I may have messed up the recipe. The dough seemed very wet to me and it's probably because I didn't drain the currants enough. Will report back later on tonight. I'm interested to see what you think of this. I made a half recipe as a test batch yesterday and did not like them. Too much of a raw rum taste for me. Plus they spread quite a bit - not sure if I messed up the proportions in halving the recipe. ←
  2. Marmish, Yes, they didn't make my list of "to-make-again"...I'm going to try the Rum Raisin Shortbread this weekend from her Cookie book. Looking forward to seeing how they turn out.
  3. Aza, I just made these and froze half the recipe. I actually made the dough on the weekend, popped it in the freezer for a couple of days and then baked them off the other night. They are delicious and so easy to make: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/espres...ox&rsc=header_1
  4. Well, I think this topic needs a kick start as it’s December 9th and I’m sure many other eGulleters are happily baking away. Here’s my contribution. I’d love to hear what others have to say about their cookie recipe sources and experiments. My standard recipes every year are heavy on the “Martha Stewart” and include: Her Chocolate Crackles, Carrot Cake Cookies and Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread. I think these all can be found on her website or in her Cookie cookbook. This year, I’ve started the Christmas cookie baking a little early. I decided to try to bake ~20-25 recipes as a little project for myself. I wanted to add to my repertoire and actually use some of the cookbooks I’ve amassed over the year. Here’s my list and verdict: Martha Stewart Christmas Cookbook-Orange Poppy Seed Spirals (a lot of work but well received) Martha Stewart Cookies-Buttered Rum Meltaways (very ho-hum, her Lime Meltaways are much better), Rum Balls (batter too dry even after adding all the rum, sanding sugar didn’t stick…going to try a different recipe for rum balls next time), Gingersnap Palmiers (one word=disaster!). Next up from this cookbook is her Rum Raisin Shortbread. Martha Stewart Dec’08-Key Lime Thumbprints (not very limey tasting…should have made the chocolate version instead) Martha Stewart Dec’07-Espresso Icebox Coins (excellent and so easy to make—satisfies the chocolate and coffee craving all in one cookie) Martha Stewart Dec’05-Coconut Sugar Cookies (fantastic for coconut lovers) Cook’s Illustrated-Rugelach (okay but I think I’m still searching for a better recipe, too much liquid and so it didn’t produce the prettiest cookies), Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Essence (my mom’s recipe is better but the orange “twist” on it was neat) Rose’s Christmas Cookies (Rose Levy Beranbaum)-Lora Brody’s Chocolate Phantoms (not sure if they’re worth spending the $$$ on macadamias) Carole Walter’s Great Cookies-Chocolate Peanut Butter Yo-Yos (too much work, never again), Chocolate Shortbread Nuggets (again, a lot of in and out of the oven and tending to with this recipe but it produced a nice product in the end). Nick Malgeri’s Modern Baker-Cappuccino Thumbprints (excellent) For the Canadians, I’ve made Anna Olson’s Pinapple Squares (to die for! Imagine it’s like a lemon bar—shortbread topped with pinapple curd, yum!). Canadian Living’s Coconut Macaroon Surprises (fun shortbread cookie wrapped around a chocolate macaroon and rolled in coconut). I’m planning on baking some Pistachio Thumbprints with White Chocolate from the Canadian Living Complete Christmas Book. Happy holiday baking everyone!
  5. TOliver, Ling's recipe looks similar to Martha's Lime Meltaways. I've made them and they are fab! This link should get you the recipe you're looking for: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/lime-m...ys&rsc=header_2
  6. Kim-Daquiri pound cake! Sounds delish...are you going to share the recipe when you post? For a "Taste of Asia" potluck at work, I baked some green tea madeleines from Dean Brettschneider's Global Baker. I added 4.5 tsp of matcha powder to the batter and hoped for a green-er outcome. Not so much. They look yellow to me but hopefully the green tea flavour will come through in the end. Will taste tomorrow but they sure smell heavenly.
  7. Patricia Wells' cooking schools in Paris and Provence are fairly well known and very popular: http://www.patriciawells.com/ Anne Willan also has a French cooking school but according to her site it doesn't appear to be offering classes this year: http://www.lavarenne.com/lavarenne.htm
  8. I baked my very first tiered cake for an anniversary party this past weekend. What an experience! I now have a new found appreciation for all pastry chefs/professional bakers. The lemon curd/meringue buttercream was quite the project for an amateur like me! I don't have a spiffy Kitchen Aid so my little hand mixer got a workout. I used this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/vie...DING-CAKE-12053 Other than substituting the eau-de-framboise for kirsch (thanks to suggestions by fellow eGulleters), I followed the recipe closely. Here's a few pictures of my "creation". lemon cake layers (which I overbaked and they were consequently a tad dry): sliced layers (after being slathered with lemon syrup): topped with buttercream & berries: finished cake (yes, I know...I do need to take a cake decorating course!): slice o' cake:
  9. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I didn't expect to get such a response! I think I will follow Kerry's advice and use the kirsch I had originally bought. I may make a "test batch" and try it before pouring it all over the cake. If all goes well, I'll post some pictures of my finished cake this weekend.
  10. I'm baking my first tiered cake for a party this weekend. This is the recipe I selected: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/vie...DING-CAKE-12053 After reading through it last week, I realized it calls for "eau-de-vie de framboise". Now this appears to pose a little bit of a problem as it isn't sold in Ontario! I was wondering if anyone knew of a good substitution? I have bought both framboise wine (which I think will be too wine-y) and raspberry vodka (which might be too boozy). I also have kirsch at home but cherries and raspberries and lemons...I don't know if that would be the best solution?? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  11. A little out of season but nonetheless, I baked up a batch of the applesauce spice bars tonight. I can understand why eGulleters have raved about the glaze. It smells divine...buttery, sugary and caramely (sp?). My home is filled with the scent of autumn, in July! My glaze ended up being fairly thin so I popped the whole thing in the fridge to firm up before slicing. I didn't have Patrick's smooth edges but I tried my best by cleaning off the blade of my knife after every slice. Prior to glazing: Ready to eat:
  12. For a BBQ yesterday, I baked up a batch of Ina Garten's Lemon Bars (from Barefoot Contessa Parties). They turned out perfectly just as all her recipes seem to do for me:
  13. In effort to tag along with this: http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/ I made Dorie's Apple Cheddar scones. My scone-baking technique needs some work but they were delicious nonetheless. More of a savoury than sweet breakfast treat. I used a 2 inch square biscuit cutter and that was too small. I should have made them at least 2.5 inches. My attempt at this recipe made 16 scones instead of the dozen it should have.
  14. Just in...a press release about her win! Congrats Liss! http://canadianpress.google.com/article/AL...u0NXII3qlQMZ-kg
  15. One of my most favourite recipes has to be Ina Garten's "Banana Crunch Muffins". This afternoon, I baked myself a batch....they are delish!
  16. Attention all Toronto home bakers! I wandered into Degrees Kitchen Store (2588 Yonge St.) on Sunday. They've got their Nielsen-Massey vanilla extracts on sale (~$4 off).
  17. I hadn't baked anything from this book in quite sometime and then along came a jar of cherry preserves! I found them while rummaging through my kitchen cupboards this weekend. These preserves were exactly what I needed to make the Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake (pg 286). I did what I usually do and bake the heck out of the cake. It was a tad dry. I have trouble with the art of knowing when to pull the cake out of the oven. I'm always overly concerned about having raw cake batter in the middle. Nonetheless, the cake was delicious and so simple to make. It's perfect for a dinner party because it doesn't require too much fussing about but looks like you did.
  18. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to participate in this weekend's dessert-athon so here's my early and only submission to this event. I baked a Lady Baltimore cake last night and it turned out wonderfully. The cookbook I got the recipe from has generally been a disappointment so this cake's success was a surprise. Have you ever bought a cookbook that you keep trying recipes from, hoping that the next one will work out? After three failures, finally a winner! It's kind of like a German chocolate cake except not chocolate...and with almond flavouring. The filling is a combination of coconut, toasted almonds, oatmeal cookie crumbs and marachino cherries. The cake itself is a basic white cake with almond extract and topped with a 7 minute frosting.
  19. Annarborfoodie, All your cookies look delish! Good luck with the diet...I'm in awe of anyone who can accomplish such a feat. I'm curious to try the Jacques Torres recipe with AP flour because I made them with the bread and pastry flours. In the future, I doubt very much that I'll be making this recipe if I have to keep going out to get the aforementioned flours. Other than AP and whole wheat flour, I don't tend to keep any other types in the house. Nonetheless, this recipe was by far the winner in my household/workplace too.
  20. This is the recipe I used for the Neiman Marcus cookie: http://www.snopes.com/business/consumer/cookie.asp There is a recipe on the official NM website but it's not the one above which is all over the web. I think I may have halved the recipe when I made it.
  21. I would say that I still prefer the "nuttiness" that the blended oats provide to the Neiman Marcus over Jacques' cookie. Jacques' recipe is a great one if you're looking to make A LOT of dough. It has about 6 cups of flour and a whole 1lb of butter in it! I'm a little afraid to tinker with Jacques' recipe (i.e. add blended oats to it) as it has different kinds of flour in it than the usual chocolate chip cookie recipe. Well, it's been fun experimenting and I'm happy to have a "go to" recipe now for my CCC. I suppose that's what these bake-offs are all about?
  22. Is anyone else still baking along with me? Here's what will probably be my last attempt at this bake-off. After about 5 recipes, I'm chocolate chipped-out. The Jacques Torres Cookie from the Martha Stewart Show: Although I prefer the Neiman Marcus cookie, the Jacques Torres cookie is a darn close runner-up. What a fantastic recipe! It makes 26-5" cookies which are massive but taste wonderful. Very chewy on the inside and crispy around the edges. I love the addition of the blended oats to the Neiman Marcus cookie so--in my opinion--that's what missing from Jacques recipe. Again, you can find Jacques' recipe here: http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/m...0005b09a00aRCRD
  23. I baked off the Cook's Illustrated "Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie" recipe last night. For those of you that aren't familiar with it, it calls for some wonky cookie forming prior to putting the dough in the oven. I was curious to see if this made any difference in the cookie's texture, etc. In a nutshell, it doesn't. It's a recipe very similiar to the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe (i.e. ~2 cups flour, ~1 cup butter, ~2 cups white/brown sugar...) but it produces very strangely shaped cookies. I can't say that I'll repeat this ridiculous process again. Basically, the CI cookie recipe tells you to form balls of cookie dough, split them in half and then join the bases together leaving the rough ends exposed. I'm not sure what the logic was for doing this but in my opinion, it's a total waste of time. Here's what they looked like: Oh, I almost forgot, the other difference in this recipe was that it called for the butter to be melted first before combining it with the sugars. I didn't notice this making any difference in the cookie either. There's a lot of "tweaks" to this recipe but in the end it tastes pretty similar to the basic Toll House recipe. Tonight, I made the dough for Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookies featured on the Martha Stewart show. I'm a little concerned about what my results will be like because his recipe calls for pastry flour and bread flour--American stylie. I've read in this thread that there are differences between American and Canadian flour. Hopefully, I haven't just wasted a boat-load of ingredients on this recipe! It called for 1 lb of butter and 2 lbs of semi-sweet!!!!
  24. I've been distracted lately by a few birthday cakes but I'm now back on the chocolate chip cookie bandwagon. Tonight, I baked off claire797's Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pudding: http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r242.html Here's my results: This cookie has a wonderful flavour that won rave reviews around here but I found it's texture was a tad too soft. I'm still a huge fan of the Neiman Marcus cookie. Next up for me is the Cook's Illustrated recipe.
  25. Inspired by the date square bake-off, here are the Blueberry Oatmeal Squares off the cover of the August issue of Canadian Living. Mine aren't as pretty because I don't think I let my blueberry filling thicken up enough. Quite tasty nonetheless however--for those of you that are going to make this recipe--I'd recommend to just leave out the OJ from the filling.
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